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In the various roles he has undertaken through the years, Val J. Halamandaris has been a singular driving force behind the policy and program initiatives resulting in the recognition of home health care as a viable alternative to institutionalization. His dedication to consumer advocacy, which enhances the quality of life and dignity of those receiving home health care, merits VNA HealthCare Group’s highest recognition and deepest respect. 

VNA HealthCare Group

I have the highest respect for them, especially for the nurses, aides and therapists, who devote their lives to caring for people with disabilities, the infirm and dying Americans.  There are few more noble professions.

President Barack Obama

Home health care agencies do such a wonderful job in this country helping people to be able to remain at home and allowing them to receive services

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) Chair, Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee

Heath care at home…is something we need more of, not less of.  Let us make a commitment to preventive and long-term care.  Let us encourage home care as an alternative to nursing homes and give folks a little help to have their parents there.

Former President Bill Clinton

Home care is a combination of compassion and efficiency.  It is less expensive than institutional care...but at the same time it is a more caring, human, intimate experience, and therefore it has a greater human’s a big mistake not to try to maximize it and find ways to give people the home care option over either nursing homes, hospitals or other institutions

Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich (R-GA)

Medicaid covers long-term care, but only for low-income families.  And Medicare only pays for care that is connected to a hospital discharge....our health care system must cover these vital services...[and] we should promote home-based care, which most people prefer, instead of the institutional care that we emphasize now.

Former U.S. Senator Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-CD)

We need incentives to...keep people in home health care settings...It’s dramatically less expensive than long term care.

U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ)


Home care is clearly the wave of the future. It’s clearly where patients want to be cared for. I come from an ethnic family and when a member of our family is severely ill, we would never consider taking them to get institutional care. That’s true of many families for both cultural and financial reasons. If patients have a choice of where they want to be cared for, where it’s done the right way, they choose home.

Donna Shalala, former Secretary of Health and Human Services

A couple of years ago, I spent a little bit of time with the National Association for Home Care & Hospice and its president, Val J. Halamandaris, and I was just blown away. What impressed me so much was that they talked about what they do as opposed to just the strategies of how to deal with Washington or Sacramento or Albany or whatever the case may be. Val is a fanatic about care, and it comes through in every way known to mankind. It comes through in the speakers he invites to their events; it comes through in all the stuff he shares.

Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence

Val’s home care organization brings thousands of caregivers together into a dynamic organization that provides them with valuable resources and tools to be even better in their important work. He helps them build self-esteem, which leads to self-motivation.

Mike Vance, former Dean of Disney and author of Think Out of the Box

Val is one of the greatest advocates for seniors in America. He goes beyond the call of duty every time.

Arthur S. Flemming, former Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare

Val has brought the problems, the challenges, and the opportunities out in the open for everyone to look at. He is a visionary pointing the direction for us. 

Margaret (Peg) Cushman, Professor of Nursing and former President of the Visiting Nurses Association

Although Val has chosen to stay in the background, he deserves much of the credit for what was accomplished both at the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, where he was closely associated with me and at the House Select Committee on Aging, where he was Congressman Claude Pepper’s senior counsel and closest advisor. He put together more hearings on the subject of aging, wrote more reports, drafted more bills, and had more influence on the direction of events than anyone before him or since.

Frank E. Moss, former U.S. Senator

Val’s most important contribution is pulling together all elements of home health care and being able to organize and energize the people involved in the industry.

Frank E. Moss, former U.S. Senator

Anyone working on health care issues in Congress knows the name Val J. Halamandaris.

Kathleen Gardner Cravedi, former Staff Director of the House Select Committee on Aging

Without your untiring support and active participation, the voices of people advocating meaningful and compassionate health care reform may not have been heard by national leaders.

Michael Sullivan, Former Executive Director, Indiana Association for Home Care

All of us have been members of many organizations and NAHC is simply the best there is. NAHC aspires to excellence in every respect; its staff has been repeatedly honored as the best in Washington; the organization lives by the highest values and has demonstrated a passionate interest in the well-being of patients and providers.

Elaine Stephens, Director of Home Care of Steward Home Care/Steward Health Systems and former NAHC C

Home care increasingly is one of the basic building blocks in the developing system of long-term care.  On both economic and recuperative bases, home health care will continue to grow as an essential service for individuals, for families and for the community as a whole.

Former U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME)

NCOA is excited to be part of this great event and honored to have such influential award winners in the field of aging.

National Council of Aging

NAHC Submits Chronic Care Recommendations to Senate Finance Committee

Better Integrate Home Health and Hospice to Achieve Superior Outcomes in Chronic Care Management
June 23, 2015 10:03 AM

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) today submitted recommendations to the Senate Finance Committee Chronic Care Working Group on improving care for Medicare patients with chronic conditions. Earlier this month, as previously reported, the Senate Finance Committee announced the creation of a bipartisan chronic care working group, led by Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR), as well as Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Mark Warner (D-VA).  With the purpose of assessing current law and developing policy and legislative proposals to improve chronic care, the working group sought recommendations from health care stakeholders.

NAHC submitted the recommendations in a letter from Board Chairman Denise Schrader and President Val J. Halamandaris. You can read the full letter here.

“We applaud the Committee for creating a chronic care working group seeking recommendations from health care stakeholders based on  real world experience and data-driven evidence that will improve care for this vulnerable population,” Schrader and Halamandaris wrote.  “With chronic disease now accounting for almost 93 percent of Medicare spending, we agree that the impact of chronic disease on the Medicare program and those it serves is staggering and must be addressed with better chronic disease management.”

In order to improve chronic care services, NAHC recommended a “broad and appropriate” role for home health services that encompasses not only post-acute care but also pre-acute care. “Our past experience and the evidence from new promising models reinforces our belief that a system that shifts chronically ill patients from inpatient services and institutional care to home and community-based settings provides the best chance at extending the fiscal viability of the Medicare program while providing high-quality, clinically appropriate services for those with chronic illness. In addition to exploring new ways to improve care for patients moving from acute settings, our members are helping keep people with chronic disease out of the hospital,” NAHC writes.

NAHC provided specific proposals to achieve evidence-based reform, including a Home-based Chronic Care Management Model. This patient-centered model is a partnership between home health agencies and patient-centered medical homes, in which the home health agency shares responsibility for patient outcomes with the primary care provider. The model has successfully reduced hospitalizations and increased patient satisfaction across the country. For example, Sutter Health in California using the model achieved a 50 percent reduction in hospitalizations and saved Medicare $118 million over a three year period. NAHC also recommended that the Committee: 1) monitor innovative programs being tested, including the Independence at Home Demonstration and the Community-based Care Transitions Program; and 2) improve care coordination for chronically ill patients as outlined in the Fostering Independence Through Technology Act of 2013 and the modernization of the Medicare home health benefit through the Home Health Care Planning Act of 2015 (S. 578).

In addition, NAHC recommended that the Committee integrate hospice care into its analysis, stating that hospice care provides a “highly valuable option” that those dealing with chronic illness should be able to consider. Specifically, NAHC endorsed the Care Planning Act of 2015 (S. 1549), which is sponsored and cosponsored by Chronic Care Working Group co-chairs Senators Warner and Isakson.

In making its recommendations, NAHC explained how home health and hospice care can help the working group achieve its stated goals to: 1) increase care coordination among individual providers across care settings who are treating patients living with chronic diseases; 2) streamline Medicare’s current payment systems to incentivize the appropriate level of care for patients living with chronic diseases; and 3) facilitate the delivery of high quality care, improve care transitions, produce stronger patient outcomes, increase program efficiency, and contributes to an overall effort that will reduce the growth in Medicare spending.

The Senate Finance Committee Chronic Care Working Group intends to develop legislative proposals based on the recommendations it receives. NAHC Report will continue to provide updates regarding the status of any such legislative effort.




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